What did you do this morning when you first sat down at your desk? C. Hope Clark bets you checked your email. Is she right?
Clark's post, The First Thing You Do At Your Computer . . . or the Last?, got me thinking about the order in which I do things. If I open my email account right away, what are the chances I'll actually start writing my next chapter within the hour?
Have you ever said it? "I'm just jumping on to check my email." Yeah, right. An hour (or two) later, your manuscript folder has not even been touched. You've replied to "important" emails. Newsletters have gotten you clicking onto dozens of webpages. There are cute emails to forward, blogs to keep up with, because we need to add to our knowledge of the industry.
But we won't need much industry knowledge if we never have a novel to sell.
Not everyone will write best first thing in the morning. Clark writes in the middle of the night, when distractions are low. Same with author Camy Tang. One of my critique partners writes from 9 to 11pm, when her small children are in bed.
The trick is to find your best time, and then use it for writing, not cruising the internet. I purposely do not have wireless internet in my house. That way I can take my laptop to a comfortable chair, and there's no distraction from the world wide web. Of course, this means I need to disconnect and walk to another room. You could turn off your modem. Or use a software that temporarily disables your internet (it's free) for the time you set.
How do you separate your writing tasks from research and daily business? Do you have any tips or tricks to share?